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Old 03-13-2010, 08:05 PM   #1
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Converting Aluminum Wiring to Copper ...


I have a late 1960s house that's being completely renovated. I figure with the walls down, I might as well switch / convert the aluminum wiring to copper.

The following is a picture of the existing electrical box (with aluminum wiring) and a sub-panel the previous home owners added when finishing their basement.

question - can I simply swap the sub-panel for a full size electrical panel - which is fed from the original panel? this way I could gradually turn off the aluminum breakers as I wire the house up in copper (and connect to the new sub panel?)

eventually, the original panel wouldn't have any breakers on whereas the new sub-panel would be powering the entire house (in copper).

any info / advice would be appreciated!
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:14 AM   #2
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Converting Aluminum Wiring to Copper ...


That would work, put in a breaker in the orginal box the same size as your main breaker and then the old panel will act more or less like a disconnect for your new subpanel.

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Old 03-14-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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Converting Aluminum Wiring to Copper ...


Where is the Main feed coming from ?
You want to make sure it will reach the new panel

On a sub you are required to have all the neutrals & grounds seperate
Neutral not bonded to the case
So after you are done & convert the new sub to a Main panel just bond the neutral to the case - usually just a green screw
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:10 AM   #4
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Converting Aluminum Wiring to Copper ...


My advice would be to try and replace the existing main panel with out removing the existing circuits. Install a new main panel in its place. Temporarily re-feed the old panel from the new panel thus still providing power to the house and giving you time to run the new circuits.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:11 PM   #5
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Converting Aluminum Wiring to Copper ...


thanks for all the tips guys ... I think i'm going to "cut off power" to the existing sub ... and replace it with a new panel - that will be used as a sub panel.

guess I'll need to get a 100amp breaker for the existing main panel to run to the new sub panel. for this, can I use #2 Copper wire?
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